U.S. to deploy 300 marines to Helmand province to support Afghan security forces. This is the first marine deployment to Helmand since 2014. Brigadier Gen. Roger Turner says they will replace a U.S. army unit currently in the province.
Meanwhile, NATO is sending 200 mainly Italian soldiers to Farah province for what is said to be a short-term mission.
The U.S. president elect has said little about Afghanistan, but an Obama administration state department official visited Kabul to assure “continued support” for the government. Obviously he cannot in fact guarantee this. We'll have to see what happens.
An analysis by Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy concludes that Iraqi forces are close to securing eastern Mosul, but will have to regroup before undertaking a difficult operation to take the west side of the city.
Writers in Foreign Affairs expect IS to revert to a guerilla insurgency once they lose territorial control.
Current number of civilians displaced from Mosul is said to be 169,000 based on a government count. While some people have returned home in Anbar, 22,000 remain in refugee camps there.